Using Poetry to Cope With Holiday Stress

As you celebrate the holiday season this December, you’re likely gathering with loved ones to appreciate each other’s company, enjoy a good meal, and practice time-honored traditions. Although you might look forward to this time of year, the holidays can also increase stress due to their busy nature. If you find yourself struggling to handle the pressures of hosting, social interaction, and/or gift-giving, here are some ways you can use poetry to cope with holiday stress. 


Organize a Holiday-Themed Book Club with a Few Friends


Reading poetry is proven to reduce stress, as it inspires feelings of relaxation and creativity. This holiday season, tap into the calming power of poetry by organizing a holiday-themed book club with a few friends. Set aside time at the beginning of a meeting for each member to vent about their holiday stress, providing a safe space to share your nerves, frustrations, and annoyances. Choose grounding collections with winter or holiday-related imagery and themes.  


Gift Personalized Poems 


Cope with holiday stress by channeling your poetic voice into your gifts this year. What better way to add a personalized touch to a gift than with a unique, customized poem? Consider either creating hand-written poems in holiday cards or creatively designing a wall print. Be sure to purchase blank cards with enough space for your poems — you might even feel inspired to add illustrations! For wall prints, consider a user-friendly platform like Canva to create your design. Since creativity helps reduce stress, this is a great way to check off gifts on your list using poetry as a calming outlet. If you’re searching for more poetry-themed gift ideas, check out our 2023 Read Poetry gift guide.


Carve Out Time to Write Poetry Each Morning


Prioritize your self-care this holiday season by carving out time each morning to write poetry. Whether you free-write then turn your words into a more structured poem, or simply write a few free-verse poems, writing poetry can help you process your thoughts and emotions, setting a positive tone for the rest of your day. Add some fun to this practice by writing in a holiday-themed journal. For inspiration, consider these holiday writing prompts


Listen to Spoken Word Poetry on the Way to Gatherings


If gatherings increase your stress levels, listen to spoken word on the way to gatherings. Hearing the calming rhythm of poetry can help you feel more grounded, taking your mind off the pressures of social interaction, and provide an escape. Curate a playlist of podcast shows or episodes that you can easily access. Your favorite shows will likely perform holiday poems throughout December, helping you embody the holiday spirit. 


Hopefully, these tips inspire you to use poetry to cope with holiday stress this year. Whether you write, read, or listen to poems throughout the month, poetry can calm your nerves, allowing you to embrace the season. Happy holidays!